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China's Hainan Airlines launches Changsha-London direct flight
Author:  Source:Xinhua   

A direct flight between London and Changsha, capital of central China's Hunan province, was launched on March 23.

The maiden voyage of flight HU421, which took off from Changsha Huanghua International Airport at 13:15 Beijing time, landed at Heathrow Airport the same day around 17:00 local time. The return flight, with all seats sold out, will leave Heathrow late at night and arrive in Changsha the next day.

The Changsha-London route is serviced by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner three times a week -- on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

This is Hainan Airlines' second nonstop service to Britain, following the rollout of the Beijing-Manchester service in June 2016.

Bao Qifa, chairman of Hainan Airlines, said, "We believe that the air bridge, which symbolizes the friendship between China and Britain, is bound to promote cultural exchanges and to deepen economic and trade cooperation between the two cities at each end of the route."

A spokesman of Hainan Airlines said that during following months, the busy Heathrow Airport will see two more new direct service from Chinese cities to London, as the Beijing Capital Airlines will launch its direct service between London and Qingdao on March 26 and the Tianjin Airlines' new service between London and Xi'an will start from May 9.

According to a report by the Manchester China Forum and Manchester Airport, since the direct flight between Beijing and Manchester was launched, exports from Northern England to China have almost tripled to 200 million pounds (283 million U.S. dollars) a month, and the amount spent by Chinese tourists in Manchester has doubled to 138 million pounds a year.

International carriers operate around 60 flights a week between Britain and China.

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